The acronym HEIM stands for Higher Education Internationalisation and Mobility: Inclusion, Equalities and Innovations, which is the name of one of the research projects funded by European Horizon 2020 (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, H2020-643739), in which several colleagues at the University of Seville, directed by Mayte Padilla, are currently participating. Mayte represents the Andalusian Spanish arm of a powerful research partnership, which includes the coordinating university, the University of Sussex in the UK, where the Project Director, Professor Louise Morley, is based, the University of Umeá in Sweden and the Roma Education Fund in Budapest, Hungary. This website provides more detailed information about the Heim project. The main objective of HEIM is to assess the international situation of the Roma communities in the area of higher education and to promote general and academic policies to encourage access and mobility among Gypsy students, both male and female.
At a seminar held on November 23 in the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Seville, our colleagues Mayte Padilla and Jesús González Monteagudo introduced the project and those taking part in it, provided information about its achievements and future objectives and opened up discussion to other groups, including PENDARIPEN. We accepted the invitation with great pleasure.
As Mayte Padilla explained, the project starts with an interrogation of the extent to which the theoretical principles of equality and inclusion that should operate in higher education in Europe are being fulfilled. The experiences –and life stories- of Roma students of diverse national origin reveal the difficulties involved in gaining access to universities, and even more so, the social and institutional racism in the university environment that they have to deal with. According to the project, communication between Roma students in higher education across Europe –both undergraduate and postgraduate- is an instrument of empowerment and offers a special space enabling them to find fellowship and support. Hence, one very simple but effective action has been to create a Facebook page for the purpose of putting Roma students in touch with each other. Student exchanges are another highly effective practice that the project encourages, providing internationalisation in education.
We in PENDARIPEN would like to contribute to the debate with ideas about the value of history as a tool for the construction and recognition of self within a collective identity.
The Seminar programme, based on a dynamic presentation of the project and exchange of ideas, together with the list of participants, can be found below: